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10 Things to Know This Week

December 15, 2016

 

1. Visioning Resistance: a Black Feminist Call to Action. Last Monday, Black Women's Blueprint was honored to be in community with over 50 of our members. We began the evening with a visualization practice and went through a process of calling out the ways we have been ever-sustaining and resilient in times of trauma and highly climatic socio-political moments. We discussed embodying resistance and emboldening ourselves to step into our power as we approach 2017. This moment was one of political education and resistance activation, thinking about economic security, reproductive rights and safety, and what radical protection might be necessary. We are in a birthing process of new visions and paradigm shifts. We are standing fiercely with our ancestors surrounding us. We make a call towards visioning resistance and moving forward passionately and with grand expectations. To get involved in the resistance movement email sally@blueprintny.org

 

2.  WOC Bartering Network Black Women’s Blueprint is continuing our long tradition of promoting solidarity economy.  The WOC Barter Network is for women who want to build an interconnected socio-economic community. A community for traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, gifting, and swapping. Solidarity Economy dates back to centuries past where there was no universal form of currency/money. Instead, people worldwide bartered, lent, and traded for everyday goods and services. The only difference today is that we can do it at remarkable speeds, thanks to technology. Through technology we can create a redistribution market that transforms businesses, values collaborative consumerism, and helps us change the way we live. We call everyone to a creative, supportive, and collective action. To join or for more information contact sally@blueprintny.org.

 

3.  MEC4CEDAW:  On Monday, BWB’s community organizers, Fayola Nyack and Ericka Dixon worked with students at the Medgar Evers College Women’s Development Center, getting them fired up about the NYC4CEDAW campaign.  Students discussed how systematic oppression and privilege show up in their daily lives, visioned a world in which violence against women did not exist and brainstormed concrete policies that could help NYC become a safer city for women of color.  BWB is a lead member of the NYC4CEDAW Steering Committee working to pass a city ordinance on CEDAW.  BWB is leading a survivor, immigrant, LGBTQ and youth-centered campaign that focuses on how a gender Bill of Rights and accompanying legislative City Council ordinance can build a culture of accountability and dismantle gender-discrimination and sexist culture in all its forms.  To get involved in the NYC4CEDAW campaign email ericka@blueprintny.org

 

4. Ms. Foundation Convening 2016:  This week, BWB’s own Sevonna Brown, Farah Tanis and Naimah Johnson traveled to New Orleans for the Ms. Foundation Convening for Foundation Grantees.  The theme of the two day discussion was safety; movement builders from across the U.S. discussed, plotted and visioned how to ensure safety in this violent, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually destructive time and how we can hold each other and lift each other up to envision new systems of equality and justice.  

 

5. Save the Date! Join Black Women’s Blueprint for our 2016 Winter Solstice Celebration! December 21st 6pm - 9pm. Each year, the Winter Solstice signifies both the ending of one year and the beginning of the next.  Come be in community with your fellow sisters as we celebrate our accomplishments of the past year and look towards the future.  For more information email Sally@blueprintny.org

 

6.  An End of the Year Self Love Practice for Advocates, Service providers, Victims and Survivors: Our beloved healer and BWB sister Dee invites all of us who often live our lives at the intersections of being a survivor, victim, advocate and service provider, to take time to reflect on the work we have done this year.  Work that we have done on both of behalf of ourselves and for our communities; to appreciate the space we’ve created, the stories we’ve held, and the lives we’ve seen transformed.  We are also invited to be gentle with ourselves as we dream into the new year, and continue walking with purpose towards our collective goals of healing, justice, truth and reconciliation. Read the full piece here.

 

7. Women in Aleppo Choose Suicide Over Rape, Rebels Report: As the civil war and genocide in Syria escalates, it is reported that at least 20 women in Aleppo have chosen to commit suicide as a resistance response to the high likelihood of rape and sexual abuse at the hands of army soldiers and rebels alike.  A note explaining the dire situation in Aleppo was found from a nurse in who, upon imminent sexual assault decided to take her own life.   Read more about the situation in Syria here.

 

8.   Michelle Obama, Between Respectability and Radicalism: In this article by The Nation, the line between respectability and radicalism that First Lady Michelle Obama has had to navigate for over 8 years is analyzed and questioned.  It is argued that First Lady Obama’s high approval rating and ability to navigate the political spot-light with grace and ease has come at the cost of authentic representation. “This push-and-pull defines many black women in the public sphere—yet none have struck a balance between them under more scrutiny and to greater effect than the first lady.”  Read the entire article here

 

9.  A Requiem For Susie Jackson, The Black Woman Shot 11 Times By Dylann Roof.  Susie Jackson was the oldest of the 9 church goers who were shot to death by white supremacist Dylann Roof on June 17th, 2015.  Susie Jackson was shot 11 times, by Roof, who justified his actions by claiming to be upholding and defending the racist concept of white feminine purity.  In this moving open letter, the author writes to remember Ms. Susie and the lives lost at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Read the full letter here

 

*Update: A jury in Charleston, S.C., has found Dylann Roof guilty on all 33 counts of federal hate crimes he faced for murdering nine people and attempting to kill three others in the basement of a historically black church. Federal prosecutors are seeking a death sentence. Roof has asked to represent himself in the penalty phase of the trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 3. Read the full article here

 

10.  (Re) Membering Herstories: Hidden Figures.  Coming out January 6th 2017, the highly anticipated Hidden Figures tells the stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three Black female mathematicians who began working for NASA in the 1950s and charted the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in the midst of segregation.  While Ms. Vaughan and Ms. Jackson both passed away before the movie was in production, Ms. Katherine G. Johnson is remains a Diamond member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, has co-authored 26 scientific papers and in 2015 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.  Read more about all of these incredible women’s stories here.  

 

Black Feminist Quote of the Week

"Most activism is brought about by us ordinary people" 

Patricia Hill Collins
 

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